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check out the book, dad-gum that's good. and you can get it for all the products. >> life changer. >> join us on the after the show show, we're going to be cooking up more stuff. ♪ you're a mean one, mr. grinch ♪ ♪ you really are a heel >> and more like, you're mean one fiscal cliff? uncertainty over a deal or no deal, hitting retail sales and more stores hurting for shoppers, opening their doors on thanksgiving day, trying to attract more consumers looking for deals. so will the fiscal cliff be the grinch that steals holiday sales and any hope for recovery? hi, everyone, i'm brenda buttner, this is bulls and bears. and the gary b smith, tobin smith. jonas max ferris, welcome to
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to everybody. gary k, the fiscal cliff is the grinch? >> unfortunately, it is, it's the most important time of the year, and the profits are made and the problem is simple. uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty. nobody knows where they are and nobody knows how much money thr they're going to have to spend and the outcome is worse. higher taxes and less money in the economy and less money to buy. retail no good. but, susan, actually the national retail federation is saying we should see increase in holiday sales like 4%? >> that's right, brenda and i'm still staying optimistic, two really important numbers at that came out this week, the university of michigan consumer confidence survey shows that it's at the highest level since july of 2007 and additionally, the expectations for the next six months are also at the the highest level in five years, despite the uncertainty, consumers are feeling pretty good and the word out of washington today, is a lot of trying to work together. >> well, gary b, actually, i mean, do you know what it
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means if we fall off the fiscal cliff for you? i don't know, does anybody know? and is that uncertainty that gary k was talking about really the key here? >> i'll go beyond the uncertainty that gary k said. i think it's doom and gloom. brenda, if you walked outside the studio and grabbed ten people off the street, all ten of them, if you ask what does the fiscal cliff really mean? they go, i don't know, but it sounds bad. this fiscal cliff sounds bad, it doesn't sound like a good thing and brenda, when you hear this day after day after day, i think it starts to weigh on consumers out there. it sounds gloomy, it sounds terrible, and when people feel terrible, this is more perception in psychology than anything else, they don't spend as much. i wish i could be as optimistic as susan, when i talk to the the average person out there and including myself, everyone is feeling blah. >> brenda: you're not average, gary.
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tobin you're shaking your heads. >> and gary as average blew me away. more importantly, we have an economy and we have viewers out there who look beyond this what we're hearing about the fiscal cliff, we know what's going to happen. it's like lucy and charlie brown, charlie brown once to the ball and she's going to pull it out on the end. and congress and senate have a plan and ten minutes before this thing turns into kaka and miraculously works we're going to have a one-year plan and if someone is selling stocks because of the fiscal cliff, don't do it. if you're tired of the fiscal cliff, watch cartoons, family guy had a 200 thing and people get wound and they're making a mistake. >> brenda: you're pretty wound up. people are looking ahead, the fiscal cliff would happen a week after christmas? and this could really affect more than 2013, can't it?
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>> certainly can, because i'm with gary, it's psyching people out how bad it is that's going to do the damage. the actual damage, which is damage, i mean, it's across the board tax hikes, capital gains, small income, high income and spending cuts. and you have the ideal way in a soft economy to fix the budget. it's still a budget fix, i wish it was called the budget cliff and more optimistic and-- >> and definitely seeing investors in recent weeks, and up to this wanting to get out of stocks and thinking there's going to be the second recession and go into european death spiral, and we're definitely psyching people out. and it's what we had before and it's not like we're going to france 75% income break they passed and chill out. it's not great, it's not terrible. >> jonas, it's not the psyching out of people, it's the reality. the fiscal cliff is really the fiscal stiff and the stiff is on the consumer. consumers are going to have less dollars, taxes are going to go up and that's less money to spend at the stores and the
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most important part of the year, without a doubt, times a thousand is the holiday season. that's what makes the year for most of these retailers and it's the worst time of the year, and the only way things could get better is if they renew the tax cuts for an extra year, but i don't see that happening. >> and actually retail sales during the holiday season make up a quarter of annual sales for most retailers, toby, you're talking about doom and gloom and you're facing a tax hike. you're telling me, you're not going to cut back on spending? >> well, brenda, i'm telling you that human beings or not binary saying, my gosh, a marginal tax rate and i'm going to close down and do nothing. if we did that, we wouldn't have done anything for the past two years, we wouldn't have any certainty for the past two years, people are used to the fact that making dysfunctional and incorporated in our behavior, and gary b, is that why we have uncertainty? is that why we haven't had a
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recovery, too? >> that's part of it and i think, honestly, toby is speaking from kind of a washington insider base. >> that's me. >> yes, toby knows something will happen, but the average person out there who picks up "the washington post" and reads the fiscal cliff day after day isn't going to say, i'm going to watch family guy, no, trust me, that's what the fiscal cliff does. >> brenda: there's a big difference, a big difference. hold on, there's a big difference between this time and what happened with the debt ceiling crisis. >> right. >> brenda: the language out of d.c., you talk today, all the leaders and republicans and democrats came out together and held a press conference together. constructive. we have a cornerstone. >> i feel much better. >> brenda: the doom and gloom, gary b, the doom and gloom is coming from you. >> i don't here a lot of kumbayah out of washington. >> marginally better. >> more than marginally.
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>> look, if they put anything together, it's going to be-- and taxes supposed to go up, they have he' extended them, didn't kill christmas or help christmas then. we've had christmases before, but he's right, the world is not going to end. >> we're going to have-- >> and okay. >> i've got to get gary k. dying to get in here. go ahead. >> yes, this is all happening while gdp is in the 1's. this is all happening while we're still at 7.9%, a fake number. we're at 11%. we don't have this glorious economy that can take this at this point in time. remember, nothing good happens when taxes are increased in a bad economy and that's what we're getting on top of the uncertainty. >> and we're talking about gdp. and the best measure of the whole economy, and it is low. >> gary, if you want to get granular about this. >> granular? >> yes, spending the most money at christmas time and
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holiday time are doing fine. the people in the lower income brackets and high school drop-outs aren't doing well and represent a smaller amount of spending than the prop, you know, 50%, and the higher 20% is doing better than anybody. so-- >> you tax the higher end people and they're not going to hire. you tax the higher end people and they're not going to hire those people and it's going to get worse and worse. >> i could hire ten people in the last three weeks, nothing to do with tax rates, nobody wakes up in the morning, i'm going to spend 1% more, so i'm going after a business opportunity. >> but you're tobin smith and-- >> and you brought us-- >> and nothing like the hollywood moguls and so much money, and he's totally insulated from anything. a million here, a million here. >> all right, you're fired, you're fired! >> no, no, you're granular, you're just not sugary sweet. jonas, you want today get in, go ahead. >> the debt showdown is a frightening thing for consumers because it doesn't
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look like the government would be able to, and an upside to be positive about the christmas and holiday spending, this will reassure investors they will get their money back when they lend it to the government because their revenue is going up and spending going down and that's the good side. >> going down-- >> that's confident for investors and better the greece path-- >> go ahead, gary k? >> and government spending is not going down. and the spending that, that's a con game. >> you're right, spending is not going down and-- >> gary, are you in cash, and worried about this, sitting in cash, holding? >> i've been mostly, but i don't think that anything's going to get done. when you bet at the horse track, you bet on past performance, how has our government done with the deficit and spending, a grade of f-plus. >> but they always get to the end and miraculously get over the goal line. >> our end. >> brenda: last word. sorry, guys, coming up,
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ding-dong, the twinkie is gone. hostess says it's shutting down after losing a showdown with striking union workers, and the cavuto gang says that will bring more jobs down. that's at the bottom of the hour. but first, rocket firing over there. already hitting energy prices right here. are all drivers in the u.s. about to take a direct hit? mel was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
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>> good morning, everyone, a fox news alert. i'm jamie colby and these are the sounds in tel aviv. (siren sounding) >> could hurt anyone. it's the latest attack that follows days of heavy rocket fire by hamas militants, including an unprecedented attack aimed at the holy city of jerusalem. frightening for israel, responding with a fierce air assault and troops in armored vehicles on the gaza border. at home, president obama is pressing conference to approve
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legislation to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff. he met with congressional leaders yesterday and said the meeting was constructive. if lawmakers can't make a deal by the new year, taxes will go up and there will be a massive spending cut. and republicans say failure to act not an option. thanks for joining us fox news channel. more headlines, 30 minutes away and now, back to bulls and bears, i'm jamie colby. >> oil spiking here in the u.s. as missiles are flying in the holy land. now some arab leaders, threatening to use oil as a weapon against the u.s. and the battle between israelis in gaza already spilling over here. absolutely, brenda, we've seen oil prices rise. and here is a difference between this and other middle east conflicts and this involves israel at this point and of course we are a little and firm ally of israel, it
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becomes not a fight against israel, it becomes a fight, if you extrapolate against israel and allies, what best way to fight if you're an arab leader to cut off or raise oil prices and that's the problem and that's why this is different and potentially devastating to our gas prices here. >> in fact, toby, we saw the iraq envoy say something to that effect. are you buying in? >> well, they did, and let's also bear in mind, that, both iraq, iran, and any of the people who are saying that we are going to use oil as a weapon are as desperately in need of every dollar into their economy, it may look good on their television, and say that we're going to use oil as a weapon, but economically the only weapon they have is it cash, and they get cash by selling their gas. and a spike if israel invades no question, but these guys have to sell oil. >> brenda: well, gary k, we
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see oil go up and then see gas go up. isn't that the usual relationship? >> yes, every dollar that goes higher is billions in costs to the consumer and business and really, nothing good happens. at this point in time we're hearing all of these rumblings and we're hearing they may go on the ground and the air and now you get iraq telling the arab states, let's use oil and then there's the speculators. the speculators see something going on they're going to jumple all over it, oil prices skyrocket and do nothing, but hurt the economy. susan, we're seeing oil go up. and do you think it's going to hurt us at the pump. >> you're seeing the speculators and the financial markets and fluctuations, but really is going to impact us at the pump if there's a supply disruption and we haven't seen that yet and hopefully we won't get to that point. you know, maybe we'll start to be geopolitical games with the
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oil supply, but haven't reached that point, but this is a serious situation and destabilizing this has much greater impact than just the oil market. >> brenda: if we see supply disruption, but on the other hand a slowing global demand. >> fortunately, the global economy is weak and excess oil production from a lot of countries. if that wasn't the case we would already being seeing oil barrels well over $100 and prices $5 for gas in some areas, that's the positive in all of this, we can handle a little disruption. i kind of disagree, we have to have a full on, 70's, cutting things off for the price of the spike. because the fears of that, could send prices up, not double like you would have in countries like saudi arabia, but 20% increases on both the barrel of oil and prices at the pumps, just on fears with no disruption if people think it's leading to. so we may see some of that if this gets worse. >> toby, isn't that right though? basically it's fear, it's
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psychological which can often raise the price of oil. >> no question, in the short-term, in the market, right. but yet, in the united states, every gallon of storage we have for american oil, wti oil is full. we have excess oil that is being sold into our refineries, that's why as jonas says, we have a cushion we didn't have when israel went into lebanon in 2008. >> brenda: last word, gary b? >> well, if you combine what jonas says, the psychology, plus what susan implied, a potential cutting in supply, you really could see a dramatic rise in gas prices. >> brenda: thanks, that's got to be the last word. it's not just the mideast spilling over, why folks across the u.s. may need to start pricing for price spikes coming from superstorm sandy. ♪ [ male announcer ] this is karen anjeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they' gonna fall in love,
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>> coming up. super storm sandy may be long gone, but all of us may be paying for it for a long time. plus, the one gift to give this holiday season that could
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>> in the northeast, thousands of victims of sandy still cleaning up as others start the rebuilding process and now folks across america may be about to feel the super storm's wrath. how so, toby. >> a lot of ways, number one insurance rates when you have this massive type of payouts you'll see all insurance companies, whether you're in california, montana or new york, you're going to have, you know, going to have rates go up. the second things, used cars, same thing in katrina you have a whole bunch of cars taken off the market because they're not usable and all of a sudden used car prices go up, 10, 20, saw them up 20% reported last week and all the way across, diesel oil. we're going to see it across the state it's not just a
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northeast issue. >> brenda: gary k, what do you think of that? >> toby is absolutely right. whenever you have shortages with an event like this, especially in highly populated area, lumber, building materials, we can run the gamut here. prices go higher and costs go higher to business and consumers and that will definitively effect an economy. especially still trying to get up. a very tough thing to watch. >> brenda: gary b. is it having an impact or limited and temporary? >> the latter brenda, yes. look, it's the less, less temporary and less limited, i think the closer you were to the northeast. so, people obviously on long island, new jersey are going to feel it the most in spikes in prices and people in california feel it less. toby makes a very good point about insurance rates, but i think back to katrina and i did not see, can't recall seeing any spike in insurance rates. so, you know, things like
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lumber again. this is more localized. not to minimalize it, but it's more localized at this point. >> brenda: susan. >> there are tremendous costs, and infrastructure destroyed, businesses, rail line tracks washed away in new jersey, and there's a lot of rebuilding and costs assembled in the various pieces and we need to remember when we start looking at blood prevention policies as we move forward, the impact, the economic impact and really, the amount of investment we're going to need to make in order to try to prevent some of the things in the future. >> brenda: actually, jonas, there's kind of a short-term spending boom, a stimulus in a way, isn't it? >> yeah, over the long term. but the government spending, basically in new jersey, particularly, you're going to see money being liquidated from cash savings and insurance portfolios, from the government, fema, going into essentially home renovation among other things. and it happens to be the one area in the economy that's
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still weak, there's excess supply of construction labor and in some ways it will counter up and improve the economies in the short run. long run, the negatives are, i think, sea side home prices are going to decline to reflect the higher cost of insurance, living there, being there, and other costs generated et cetera, those things will keep the home prices from recovering to the levels they were before or going along that path, but i think a stimulus to new jersey and other states. >> that was reflected in the stock market. you saw stocks like home depot and the construction spots skyrocket off a disaster and it happens over time. >> brenda: thanks, guys, and a special thanks to susan for joining us, appreciate it. did you hear about this? a childhood favorite snack getting a kick of caffeine, how it could slim you down and run up your profits. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understan
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>> predictions, gary b. you'r and they wear out fast and-- >> iove at
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